Monday, 10 September 2012

The ultimate chocolate cupcake!

I stumbled upon one of these beauties in Victoria (Vancouver island) this summer and was blown away with how unbelievable yummy they were! The recipe includes Quinoa which is a gluten free persons saving grace if  you ask me! It is similar to couscous in it's texture however it is a protein which makes it much more nutritious and it's gluten free!
Once back home I searched the web to find recipes to test out to see which one could replicate the perfection of the one I tried in Canada! I quickly came by a recipe that had been adapted by groovyfoody.wordpress.com , her description of the cupcakes sounded spot on so I decided to give the recipe a go... This was a good move.


So here is the recipe I stole from 'groovy foody' (fab name!). Hope you enjoy and send any appreciation of the recipe onwards to her :)

2/3 a cup Quinoa
1 1/3 cup water
1/3 cup milk (or any dairy free alternative e.g soya, almond milk...)
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup melted and cooled butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp *(gluten free) baking powder
1/2 tsp *(gluten free) baking soda
1/2 tsp salt


*it's worth checking with these if they are gluten free as I was caught out with baking powder once and felt groggy all week - better safe than sorry!


The fun part:

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees c.

Prep your cupcake tins with either butter and gluten free flour or in my case, cute little cupcake holders.

Now we need to cook the quinoa! This can be done whichever way you feel used to, I do it the lazy way - add the 1 1/3 cup of water to a pan, bring it to the boil then add the 2/3 cup of quinoa. Stir then put the lid on and leave to simmer until all the water has been absorbed (around 10-15 mins). Once all the waters been absorbed take the pan off the heat, fluff up the quinoa and allow it to cool fully (put it in the fridge if you get impatient like me!

Grab a blender and pop in the milk, vanilla, butter, oil and cooled quinoa. Blend these bad boys together until it makes a smooth, thick almost porridge like consistency. Here you can throw in the dry ingredients - sugar, cocoa, baking powder, soda, salt and keep blending, but I prefer to mix it together in a bowl by hand myself.

Put the mixture in your cupcake holders, you want to fill them about 3/4 full to allow the mixture to expand in the oven.

Cook for 16-20 minutes, the cakes will be done when they don't wobble and bounce back up when you press them.

Take them out the oven and allow to cool.

These taste gorgeous on their own and have a pudding-like texture. A far cry from the dry powdery gluten free cupcakes I've endured over the last year. For a frosting its entirely up to you, a simple vanilla buttercream is a crowd pleaser, however if you want to make these a bit more luxurious then try a chocolate ganache by slowly melting cream and chocolate together over a low heat. I chucked some strawberries and raspberries on mine to make them extra tasty - and pretty!

Let me know how they turned out! Such a great recipe and these cupcakes really do top any normal one I've ever had, the quinoa makes them so moist and compliments the rich chocolate flavour.